GLOBAL Stern study identifies “Germany’s companies with a future” – Heidelberg comes out with the highest ranking

Issue 38 of the business magazine Stern saw the publication of a study in collaboration with the Hamburg employer branding agency Territory Embrace on “Germany’s companies with a future.” Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) achieved five stars – the highest score possible. The study centered around the question of how well prepared the companies surveyed are for the challenges of digital transformation, especially against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the large company category (over 2,500 employees), Heidelberg came out with five of a possible five stars in the study’s overall assessment, making it one of Germany’s companies with a future. The scores reveal that the companies that did best are those that have made the topic of digital transformation a top priority and, at the same time, successfully merged tradition and digitization. 

“Heidelberg’s successful and continuing digital transformation is bearing more and more fruit. Its anchoring in the key business areas is paying off, and this has now also been backed up by this objective assessment by a prestigious institution,” says Rainer Hundsdörfer, Chief Executive Officer of Heidelberg. “This underscores that the transformation is underway. Heidelberg is on course to a digital future!”

Heidelberg brings the digital transformation to vocational training

A major contributor to Heidelberg’s strong placement in the Stern study’s ranking was the vocational training setup at Heidelberg. New job descriptions, updated training content, and an early emphasis on the necessary competencies are paving the way to the digital future here. By significantly increasing the training numbers, Heidelberg is doing what it needs to meet skill needs in the coming years. “By adding digital skills to the new training content, the company is bringing innovation to the factory,” says Prof. Rupert Felder, Head of Human Resources at Heidelberg. Augmented reality, new manufacturing methods, and the targeted use of artificial intelligence are also laying the foundation for a future-proof shop floor. 
Another area where action is needed in terms of personnel strategy is demographic change. Heidelberg is well positioned for the future here too, with its health management systems and preventative offerings. “The jury must also have been impressed by how adeptly our operational concepts have enabled us to handle the coronavirus pandemic so far,” says Felder. He continues that the news of the award from “Stern” will be received with joy by the workforce, but also a certain amount of pride since it recognizes the internal efforts to actively prepare for the future and the work done on key competencies to ensure the company is well positioned. 

In total, the study involved around 160 companies answering 60 questions, divided into three key areas: “Strategy and Significance,” “Processes and Products,”, and “Innovation and Qualification.” Each area was equal in value with 33 points, and the results for each were converted on a scale from one to five points. The overall result was calculated as the average of the three scores.


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